ADE Director's Communication Memo Form

Memo Number : LS-10-029

Date Created : 03/12/2010


Elementary Principals
Middle School Principals
High School Principals

Type of Memo: Informational
Response Required: Optional
Section:   Learning Services - Dr. Laura Bednar, Assistant Commissioner
School Improvement 1003a Funds Grant Award Application

Regulatory Authority:
Section 1116 of ESEA

Contact Person:
Bernice Martin-Russell

Phone Number:


Section 1116 of The Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requires each State Education Agency (SEA) to reserve four percent of their Title I funds for local program improvement initiatives. At least 95 percent of those funds reserved must be allocated to schools identified for program improvement. Previously these funds were used to support the Stateís Turnaround Model. However, due to the significant number of schools identified for improvement and to assist schools with meeting the requirements as outlined in Smart Accountability, these funds will be made available to schools through an application/allocation process.

The 1003(a) School Improvement grant funds are only available to eligible Title I schools and must be used to provide additional resources necessary to help raise student achievement and make adequate yearly progress (AYP). Funds must be applied for through the Local Education Agency (LEA) and must contain the required signatures.

Schools must use these additional funds to carry out the school improvement, corrective action, or alternative governance responsibilities as identified in their Arkansas Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (ACSIP). For example, schools may use funds to conduct professional development, to strengthen curriculum, and to enhance parental involvement.

As part of the school improvement process, schools may also use funds to expand, enhance, or build upon reform strategies already underway and for parent outreach cost. A school may also use these funds to obtain technical assistance for schools as they develop and implement improvement plans and, where appropriate, to take corrective action or alternative governance measures. An institution of higher education, a private non-profit organization, or other educational service agency may provide this technical assistance.

School improvement funds must be used to supplement the level of funds that, in the absence of the Title I funds, would be made available from non-federal sources. For example, if an LEA is required by state or local law to provide a service to students, it may not use program improvement funds to supplant the state or local funds that it would otherwise use to provide this service.

All activities must be supplemental in terms of greater instructional intensity and opportunity to learn.

School improvement funds are paid out on a reimbursement basis. Districts should submit a quarterly report as indicated in Commissionerís Memo No: FIN-09-090. Districts may only claim the amount of funds that are actually spent and the reimbursable activity must be part of the approved application. Any unused funds will go back into the state pool of funds for future school improvement grant applications. Therefore, any changes to the approved budget must be requested in writing to the Division of Learning Services prior to making the expenditure.

The LEA Grant Award Application for Title 1, Part A 1003(a) is attached. Completed applications must be submitted on or before October 15, 2010 to:

Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Learning Services
Four Capitol Mall
Room 301 B
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201

For any questions regarding the information contained in this guidance, please contact Mrs. Bernice Martin-Russell at (501) 682-4372.


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